Watch here for a rundown of the calls that are under discussion today. Did you see something? Hit the comments section of this post or tweet us @footballzebras.
Also, here are the rule changes for 2012:
- Overtime follows the modified sudden-death rules if a field goal is scored on the first possession of overtime
- 12 men in formation on defense will kill the play before the snap
- Blindside and crackback blocks are subject to the “defenseless player” rule when they are hit.
In the first quarter, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning attempted to get off a quick snap to draw a 12-men-on-the-field penalty against the Steelers. The play went incomplete without a foul. Several problems on the play.
- Manning had the ball snapped without giving the umpire time to move into position after spotting the ball. That should have been ruled an illegal snap penalty, something that happened to Manning with great frequency in the 2010 preseason when they moved the umpire position to the offensive backfield.
- There were 12 men on the field at the time of the snap, which was not called, either
- Side judge Guy Trawick, aware that the snap was imminent, ran to his position by turning his back to the play.
Incidentally, we singled out Trawick in the preseason when we noticed he was about to be passed like a stalled car on the play, despite a 30-yard head start. To get to the goal line for the hands-up signal, he turned his back while sprinting down the sideline.
We have a post up now about the Seahawks’ 4th timeout granted in their failed comeback attempt. Also, the referee admits to the error to a pool reporter.
Working on a few summaries of some of the earlier calls today…
49ers at Packers
4th quarter | 11:16 | SF ball | 4th down
Packers returned a punt for a touchdown, only to have an illegal block in the back penalty nullify the touchdown. After a conference, the officials waive off the penalty as if it never happened. (Problem: It did happen.)
The ruling allowed a momentum-shifting touchdown, and as the game is still on now, we are going to extrapolate this call to something bigger. Should this penalty help change the outcome of the game, and if both teams meet up in the NFC Championship game, this penalty might have played a role in determining home-field advantage in the game.
Update. Well it didn’t fundamentally alter the outcome of the game, but that should not minimize the seriousness of the non-call.
Redskins at Saints
2nd quarter | Redskins 20-7 | NO ball | 3rd & 7 @ WAS 22 | video
A tight call on the completion: Saints receiver Marques Colston just barely completes the process of the catch (called correctly), then immediately fumbles. The ball goes through the end zone, resulting in a touchback,, Redskins ball at the 20.
Incidentally, the replay rule for automatic review of turnovers does apply in this case, even though Washington didn’t recover the fumble (in this case, there was less than 2 minutes in the half, making it reviewable under those rules as well.)
Jaguars at Vikings
Overtime | 11:06 | MIN 26-23 | MIN kickoff
For the first time since sudden-death overtime rules have been on the books (71 years!), a field goal in overtime was not immediately decisive. Because of the modified sudden-death rules, the Jaguars got a second chance in overtime, after allowing the Vikings to drive into field goal range.
The Jaguars eventually had an incomplete pass on fourth down, which ended the game immediately.
Jaguars at Vikings are in overtime, modified sudden death rule applies if there is a field goal on the opening possession.